… In late October, I traveled to my old stompin’ grounds of Phoenix, Arizona to work with a successful video producer there. He’s just put up a clip of me performing the old rock classic, “Stairway To Heaven”. I think you’ll enjoy it- you can see it on YouTube.com at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHaFed-yxGU
Plus, here’s a great review of my audio CD ” Waterfallin’ “. The review is written by Jim Reilly (Editor of the monthly StickNews digest) and it appears in issue #288, released November 8, 2006. StickNews is a great way to keep informed about happenings in the Stick world. If you’d like to receive it yourself, send an email to Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject line. Thanks again, Jim!
REVIEW OF WATERFALLIN’ :
Oct. 30, 06
Michael Kollwitz ” Waterfallin’ ”
It used to be, that if you wanted to show someone what a Stick sounded like, all you had to do was put on one of Michael Kollwitz’s CDs. There is no finer example than Michael’s of the left hand-chord, right hand-melody Stick technique. Now, you can play his latest release, Waterfallin’, for anyone who asks what the new Alto Stick sounds like. Waterfallin’ is the first full-length recording to feature the Alto Stick, and it’s fitting that Michael is the first artist to bring the Alto to the fore. You see, he has been there, playing Stick, since just about the beginning. He started in 1976, and was one of Emmett’s first students. His updated Website www.michaelkollwitz.com is like a trip through Stick history. Check out some of the photos in particular.
Those of you familiar with Michael’s previous releases will recognize left hand arpeggios and the clear, clean Grand Stick with MIDI sweeteners on the melody side. That’s present on Waterfallin’ too, but on top of that, Michael has added the crisp, bright Alto. The Alto cuts through the mix and adds any upper register shimmer to eleven of the disc’s fifteen tracks.
The Grand with MIDI and the Alto Stick are perfect compliments to each other. On the first tune, appropriately titled ˜Waterfallin’ a cascade of notes fall from the Alto over a bed of Grand chords, arpeggios and subtle counter melodies. My personal favourite is Michael’s version of Sting’s “Fragile”. Here the range of the Alto seems to match Sting’s tenor seamlessly. Michael also covers, “California Dreamin”, “Nights in White Satin” “C’est La Vie” “Summertime” and “Baby Elephant Walk”. The other nine tunes are originals. All stay true to his sonic formula: lay down a solid foundation, then sweeten it with a strong melody on top.
It’s hard to find any faults with this disc. I’ve written before, how Michael’s music is a wonderful to just put on, sit back and relax too. My favourite thing to do with his music is to put on headphones and use it as live soundtrack while I go walking. He always manages to stimulate and sooth simultaneously.
Waterfallin’ is an important addition to any Stick library. Not only because it marks the introduction of the Alto Stick, but also because it makes a fine musical statement that rises above both the Grand and Alto instruments.